# Mathnasium for Beginners

Apr 21, 2022 | Red Deer

“Children don’t hate math. They do hate being confused and intimidated by math. With understanding comes passion, and with passion comes growth – a treasure is unlocked.” -- Larry Martinek

You feel your child needs math help and you google what tutor services available in Red Deer or Central Alberta. Then you’d find Mathnasium of Red Deer.

And you’re wondering. Well .. what is Mathnasium? And what is NOT Mathnasium? What is the difference between Mathnasium and other tutor services?

We are a math-only learning centre – and we make math make sense!

We just teach math. We are the math “authority” who teaches math in a way that makes sense to them. Personally, I wish Mathnasium was around when my kids were little. Yes they were good in math because we sent them to a place that was popular to learn math at that time – but I see the difference in result. Now as a university student, when asked a math question, they would solve it using algorithm which takes longer and prone to mistakes, not using a number sense approach. It’s not wrong using algorithm, but to learn how to solve a math question by using logic, Mathnasium is the place! You would think: What is so special about using this approach? What is the benefit of using it? Constructing your child’s math muscles with this method helps their fluidity and flexibility with numbers; they can see the forest for the trees, and can see a math problem from a broader perspective. This will make it easier to solve more complex math problems, not only in the classroom but also later in life when they work as professionals.

What is perceived by most kids (and adults) as a complex question such as 7% of 250 (“I can’t do this without a calculator”, “I can’t do this without paper and pencil”) is actually so simple when you use number sense approach. Relying heavily on algorithm and on a calculator are the common things that we see from our students when they first came here, whether they are strong or not too strong students.

Is that so? So, what is Mathnasium Method™ again?

Mathnasium Method™ is a proprietary method, and was created by Larry Martinek who has spent 40+ years designing, developing and refining this approach based on his extensive experience teaching math to kids. It consists of three continuous key components: Assessment -> customized learning plan -> teach for understanding.

Mathnasium program provides the foundation and support to succeed at each stage:

• Elementary School: Building math foundation, mastering computation and problem solving with whole and rational numbers, and understanding number sense
• Middle School: Continuing to build strong math foundation, mastering “the how and why” (algebra readiness), helping with homework, and filling in gaps needed for advanced classes
• High School: Filling in foundational gaps, addressing different levels of knowledge, helping with test preparation, and assisting with homework.

We don’t offer a quick fix

We are a supplemental education provider. We are not here to parallel exactly what’s going on in school; we are here primarily to supplement it.

Mathnasium is structured as a Learning Centre, and not purely as a tutorial service. A tutor’s job is to help a student working on their homework or upcoming tests. We provide a degree of support in those areas as well; but as a learning centre, our role is more strategic: to give a long-term impact to a child’s math skills. This is why our assessment is so important because from there we would know what fundamental gaps your child needs to work on. That is why private tutors often refer us to parents, as they don’t have this tool and methodology on how to find the fundamental gaps of a student. Imagine, it would be so frustrating – not just for the student, but also for the tutor – to work on solving an “x” in algebraic equation when the student actually does not have enough knowledge of integer, power, fractions – including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions, factors, multiplications, etc. Your child might be able to get by, but there would not be enough strong foundation to help them in the long run.

Nearly all students that we assess has some gaps, regardless of their grades in math at school. Many have fundamental gaps in their math understanding that should have been mastered a few grades earlier. In a number of cases, the student may be quite far behind that it would take longer than the whole school year to catch up with their current grade.

Mathnasium Assessment Chart, pinpointing the math gaps that this student needs to work on.

Is this one-on-one tutoring?

If what you mean is one instructor just teach one student for the whole session, the answer is no. But if what you mean is one-on-one attention, the answer is yes. Everything is customized to your child’s learning: from the assessment to the teaching delivery. In a session, each student works on their own learning plan and we engage with each of them. We don’t do helicopter tutoring where each step of the work is observed, checked and commented. We disengage when necessary to let them work independently, to give them the time to process the new information without the pressure and stress of being watched. It also prevents a “learned helplessness” where student feels they need the instructor sitting next to them all the time in order to be successful. Remember, we can’t be there for their math tests ðŸ˜Š

In school, kids are treated the same and they are taught at the same rate. Teachers are expected to cover vast amount of material in a short period of time. If your child doesn’t get a chance to master a skill for whatever reason, there is no time to give attention that they need. As an individual, each child has their own learning style and capacity in learning math; at Mathnasium, we walk with your child according to your child’s pace and style. We use a unique combination of mental, verbal, visual, tactile and written techniques to teach for understanding.